• CHSTA

CHSTA Member Responds to District Bargaining Update

I want to take a moment to politely ask that the district send out a correction to this extremely misleading bargaining update or at least make sure to correct this before sending it out to the community, etc.
I completely understand that this has been a long and difficult bargaining process that has gotten unfortunately contentious but the fact is that claiming this to be a 7% increase is extremely misleading. My assumption is that what you mean is that all of those things add up to a 7% increase in cost for the district but the fact is that the teachers will not receive anywhere close to a 7% increase from this compensation offer, which the wording seems to suggest.
The fact is that the only thing that will impact the vast majority of the teachers in the district is the 3% raise. Only a very small amount of teachers will be impacted by adjusting the first 3 steps of column A (many new teachers come in with units already). Also allowing teachers to move over multiple columns in a year is great but does not equate to a pay increase and its disingenuous to label it that way. Lastly to throw state mandated pension increases in with other negotiated compensation factors and make it seem like it is part of our negotiated compensation is also disingenuous. You are required to do that.
It is extremely important that we are honest with the way we present the information and share it with the community. I completely understand all of these things impact the costs for the district, which is something you are rightfully aware of, but to paint it as being a 7% pay increase is extremely dishonest and misleading and destructive to good faith bargaining. We can't really pursue interest based bargaining if the district is constantly trying to portray their fiscal state as precarious. Also it seems to attempt to unfairly paint the teachers in a negative light, and as being "greedy" and the district as simply being realistic. The district has many things to take into account and consider, and managing the budget is a key part of this, but multiple times now the district has released information that is at the very least misleading, and potentially disingenuous. I am respectfully requesting that the district be much more mindful and honest with the way they present information about these negotiations. We are all trying to do what is best for students but it is really hard for teachers not to look at the district in an adversarial way when the district does things like this. Wording matters.
Thank you,
Christopher Mock Westmont High School Social Science Teacher Tech Teacher Coach (408)626-3406 "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." -- Malcolm X "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." -- Nelson Mandela